Education is often touted as the great equalizer that enables minorities from lower-income backgrounds to compete for a piece of the American Dream. Anecdotal accounts of Black or Hispanic children, from marginalized communities, “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” and achieving great success find their way into impassioned speeches from teachers to preachers, politicians to business leaders. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, tell a very different story.
At ThinkNow we have the privilege of working with large organizations in both the public and private sectors. We’ve found that contracting in the private and public sectors varies considerably, and for good reason. In the private sector, contracting is fairly straight-forward since decision-makers don’t need to justify their purchases beyond their organizations. When dealing with public funds, however, the process often requires multiple steps and oversight. This works well when specifications are known and need to be exact, like when purchasing a new military aircraft engine or hiring medical personnel to staff a hospital. But what if the requirement is data? The Government Buys Public Opinion Research The U.S. population has and continues to change. Rapid growth is occurring among the largest population segments, Hispanic and Asian Americans, as well as those who identify as multi-racial. While the federal government has a significant amount of data on the perceptions and behaviors of the historical population, the data fails to address the unique thoughts and habits of today’s constituents. This gap often necessitates that the government seek research and survey data much like companies in the private sector seek data before a product launch. For example, ThinkNow was instrumental in assisting the U.S. Army in gaining insights into how Hispanic and African American populations view career opportunities available in the uniformed services. We further assisted the Army in understanding the efficacy of the government’s advertising and marketing program. ThinkNow has also helped the Small Business Administration during rebranding initiatives, the State of California’s Healthcare Exchange, and multiple state-run lottery programs. Understanding the Federal Buying Process Let’s look at a typical scenario where the federal government determines the need to seek outside assistance to fulfill the
U.S. consumers are bracing for a polarizing year in politics. From impeachment proceedings to the presidential election, emotions are high, but unemployment is low, and that appears to be the economy’s saving grace as we head into 2020. Now in its fifth year, our annual consumer sentiment report, ThinkNow Pulse™, provides insight into how Americans feel about the state of the economy, its impact on their household income, and how the political climate influences their economic outlook. We compared this year’s data with past years and found interesting shifts in sentiment among key demographics.
As America marches steadily toward a majority-minority population, culture and authenticity will play larger roles in how products and services are developed and marketed. Authenticity influences culture, but data suggests that it is not a key driver of brand choice. However, more culturally resonant campaigns should be on your holiday wish list for 2020, as multicultural consumers are authors of some of the most prevailing trends in 2019. To help you prepare for the changes, we have identified some of those emerging trends that marketers need to be aware of
“As long as there have been campfires, humans have gathered around them and conveyed their view of the world through the use of stories.” Geoffrey Berwind nailed it. Storytelling has long since been hailed by content marketers as one of the most effective ways to capture the time and attention of prospects. Stories are powerful connectors. When told or written masterfully, they ignite the imagination and spark curiosity. But why are we talking about storytelling here in the context of market research? It’s simple. As it turns out, the way traditional market research has been reported for the last 50 years has been all wrong. That’s a bold statement, but sadly true. You’ve been there, trapped in a dim boardroom, eyes glazing over, walking through a presentation deck 100+ slides deep chock full of charts and graphs. The facts are reported, but you have to wonder just how much understanding clients walk away with.
This year was chock-full of defining moments. From ongoing trade disputes with China and political unrest, to legalized marijuana and online privacy concerns. In our final report of the year, 2019 Defining Moments: Insights Into Culture and Authenticity™, we highlight trends in consumer sentiment, purchase behavior, and digital media use, and explore the impact culture has on these trends. We’ve combined these insights into a brief narrative of Total Market consumer behavior over the last twelve months and marketing predictions for 2020.
In July of 2019, Illinois became the 11th state to allow the adult use of recreational marijuana. Its state legislature is the first to legalize selling the drug. Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, for now. But that hasn’t stopped blue-chip consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies from exploring cannabis-based products as many believe that federal legalization in the U.S. is only a few votes away.
In a perfect world, we would have the best information available at our fingertips when making decisions. But, that’s often not the case. While information is more accessible now than at any other time in history, it’s not always the right information. Missing or bad information could mean big mistakes when developing or measuring marketing campaigns. So, to mitigate the risk of missing the mark, many companies explore custom market research. But, accurate, actionable custom research requires knowledge, experience, and dedicated personnel to complete.
Brand strategists are tasked with knowing when to include market research in the scope of agency work for clients and with pushing back on the inevitable biases that arise in the agency when collecting and analyzing that data. Cognitive biases, the collection of faulty ways of thinking hardwired into the human brain, permeate almost every aspect of our lives. From anchoring to zero-risk, humans live and work with various types of cognitive biases that can impair judgment and stall progress, both personally and professionally.